Annie (1982)



Tale of cute orphan is great for the whole family.
  • Review Date: June 9, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1982
  • Running Time: 127 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

In a cartoonish way, this musical shows through action and dialogue the American dream of rags to riches through determination -- in both Annie and Daddy Warbucks.

Positive role models

Annie displays grit and determination as she tries to make the best of her situation in a run-down orphanage. But Miss Hannigan is hardly a positive adult role model, and Punjab is a fairly stereotypical character.

Violence & scariness

A "Bolshevik" throws a lit bomb into Daddy Warbucks' office. Mrs. Hannigan often shoves the children around. Some peril -- Annie hangs from a bridge after being chased.

Sexy stuff

Insinuations between a woman and different men, as she mentions "making hay" and a "tumble with the bundle."


"Goddamn." Children are referred to as "pig droppings" by the antagonist.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Miss Hannigan often appears drunk, slurring her speech and clutching bottles of alcohol. Adult characters smoke cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Annie is the 1982 version of the popular radio show, comic strip, and Broadway musical. Overall it's a charming and entertaining movie for the whole family. But for families sensitive to scenes of drunken behavior, it's important to note that Miss Hannigan (played by Carol Burnett), the caretaker of the run-down orphanage where Annie lives, is often (comically) intoxicated, slurring her speech and clutching bottles of liquor. There are also occasional references to sex ("make hay," "tumble in the bundle"). Cartoonish violence pops up from time to time: A "Bolshevik" throws a lit bomb into Daddy Warbucks' office, and Annie hangs from a bridge after getting chased by the bad guys. And there's some uncomfortable stereotyping in the form of the Punjab character. Still, what emerges overall are the unforgettable songs and the plucky determination of Annie as she goes from rags to riches.

What's the story?

In this film version of the Broadway musical about the parentless Depression-era moppet, spunky red-haired Annie (Aileen Quinn) suffers indignities from tough orphanage supervisor Miss Hannigan (Carol Burnett). Ever-hopeful Annie dreams of the day her parents arrive to retrieve her, often singing songs and dancing to the delight of the other orphan girls. Hoping to boost his approval rating with local voters, rich politician Oliver Warbucks (Albert Finney) takes Annie in for a week at his swanky Manhattan mansion. Annie wins over her new caretakers, but Miss Hannigan and her cronies Lily (Bernadette Peters) and Rooster (Tim Curry) see an opportunity to increase their cash flow.

Is it any good?


This film of the Broadway musical is uneven, but its charms take over by the end. The songs are a mixed bag -- "Dumb Dog" is just not all that good, but "It's the Hard-Knock Life" is one you'll have stuck in your head for days, and by the time Annie sings "Tomorrow" to President Roosevelt, you'll be singing it along with her.

Some of the performances are outstanding, particularly Burnett as the drunken Miss Hannigan. In the role of Annie, Quinn is a fine singer but a bit wooden as an actress. But the orphan girls are adorable, and Finney is wonderfully brusque but really an old softy as Daddy Warbucks.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about musicals. Why do you think musicals have been popular, on both Broadway and in film?

  • What do you see as the challenges in turning a Broadway musical into a movie?

  • What are some of the ways in which 1930s New York City -- and America -- are shown in the movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 9, 1982
DVD release date:August 1, 2004
Cast:Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney, Carol Burnett
Director:John Huston
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Great girl role models, Music and sing-along
Run time:127 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:peril

This review of Annie (1982) was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 8 year old Written byStay Alert October 22, 2010

Not as Represented in the Common Sense Media Review

I was disappointed with the Common Sense Media review - usually the "CSM" reviews are "spot-on" in terms of advising parents of the issues in the movie - so that we as parents can make the best decision regarding appropriateness. Therefore, I too, was shocked that the Common Sense review stated "not an issue' for sexual content and language. Carol Burnett's character is too much when she keeps trying to come on to Daddy Warbucks and other male characters, taking clothes off, shimmying her bosom, grinding and thrusting her hips, not to mention the come-on language. The above behavior would be funny in an adult movie or on the stage - but not OK when I was expecting no sexual content. Also, the review should be amended about language - usually CSM is very accurate, but to state, "not an issue," and then have to hear several prominent "gd's" is just not an accurate representation, and a breach of trust. I never felt I needed to look at parental reviews before. Now, I wish I had, since the parental reviews were far more accurate than the CSM review. Had I read them, I would not have allowed my 6 & 8 y/o daughters to watch this movie without previewing it first, so as to find where to skip a scene or two.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byjcrlwalker June 27, 2009

The language in ANNIE is awful and unnecessary

I am so ticked that I let my two little girls watch this movie that to the naked eye is adorable. But after really taking a look and listening to the unnecessary foul language I am regretful. Not only does Daddy Warbucks spout of a couple of curse words, Rooster and Mrs. Hannigan take the Lord's name in vain and shout out a couple of GD's at the end. It is like the director just lured us into loving the characters and the movie and then, bam! they shocked parents like me and they just laugh and think it is so funny. I know that most Americans don't think of saying gd is bad, but I was sad to hear it in such a cute movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 2 year old Written byLittleBitMom December 13, 2010

A cute musical

My 2 year old loves this movie...mostly for the singing. She asks to watch it every day. Yes, she sees that Annie is in danger, but she also sees that she gets rescued and has a parent that loves her. A lot of stuff in the movie goes way over her head (bathtub gin for example!) so I don't worry about her watching this. Plus, I watched it as a little kid and didn't become a boozing drug addict with a penchant for hurting little kids. I think the overall positive message about keeping your head up through the bad times is worth it.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages


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